The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 29, July 1925 - April, 1926 Page: 57
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The Citiy of Kent
courts. He was traveling in that country for the next eight years
until 1848, two years before the ill-fated colonists came to Texas
from England, and he may probably have been there longer.
There is circumstantial evidence that the plan that brought the
Englishmen out was fired, if not actually formulated, by Catlin.
In that case, and indeed as subsequent evidence proves, the in-
spired immigrants must have moved through a land painted by
an artist's romantic pen and brush and words, so that when they
found themselves face to face with the aborigine and his wild
Paradise, they could not immediately, as peasants would have done,
turn that land to their service day by day.
The State Gazette of Austin in its issue of November 2, 1850,
prints the following reference to the colony, the only newspaper
notice which mentions Catlin's name in this connection:
We have heretofore alluded to the project of Mr. George Catlin,
a gentleman who has spent several years upon the western frontier
of the United States, and who is well known as perhaps the great-
est delineator of Indian life and character, for colonizing a large
tract of fertile and beautiful lands in the upper part of Milam
County-now we believe embraced in the county of Bell-with
English emigrants. We are happy to learn that a portion of them
have already arrived at Galveston-to be followed by others in the
course of the present fall and winter-and are now on their way
to their new homes. From the representations we have had of
these emigrants, we cannot doubt that they will prove a very de-
sirable addition to our population. They are generally of what is
known as the middling class in the old country, and are well pro-
vided with every requisite to commence their new settlement suc-
But the Gazette was wrong. George Catlin's active connection
with the colony had been severed before the colonists left England.
Whatever the immediate reason for this severance it must have
been complete. Lieutenant Charles Finch Mackenzie, formerly olf
the Forty-first Welsh Regiment of the British Army, came out in
the place that Catlin was to have occupied. In a letter written
subsequently by Mackenzie's wife to her Aunt Katherine Pidcocke,
Litchfield, England, she says: "HIe [referring to her husband]
then thought of going to Mexico or Texas when there was that
stir about Mr. Catlin, and they offered the post to him, which he
accepted, the most unlucky thing he ever did."
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 29, July 1925 - April, 1926, periodical, 1926; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117141/m1/65/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.